Integrative medicine, also called complementary medicine, is any form of therapy used in combination with other alternative treatments or standard/conventional medicine. Complementary therapies usually serve to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
The following are some complementary forms of therapy that may be included in a patient’s treatment plan:
- Art therapy
- Dance therapy
- Dietary and herbal supplements
- Massage therapy
- Music therapy
- Physical exercise
You should consult your physician before beginning any complementary or alternative therapy, as some therapies may interfere with standard treatment.
Before starting therapy, you should:
- Consult with your physician.
- Use your library to research books, articles and scientific journals.
- Use the Internet to do research.
- Look for information on controlled, scientific studies on the therapy you are considering.
- Talk to others who have actually tried the therapy.
What warning signs may indicate a fraudulent therapy?
According to the American Cancer Society, it is better to avoid treatment with the following warning signs:
- The treatment is based on unproven theories.
- The treatment promises a cure.
- The treatment is a secret and can only be given by certain providers.
- The treatment requires travel to another country.
- Those who provide the treatment discount standard or conventional medicine and/or tell the patient not to use standard or conventional medicine.